Print 27 comment(s) - last by Hieyeck.. on May 16 at 3:49 PM

Sales of sub-$500 netbooks, likes this Toshiba NB505-N508 10.1-Inch Netbook, priced for $278 on Amazon, increased by 21 percent during the holiday season.
More to do with earlier boom in Windows 7 and netbook sales

Reports of tablets' disruptive impact on PCs have emphasized how devices such as the iPad are weakening the market for netbooks, laptops, and traditional desktops. Goldman Sachs went as far as calling tablets one of the most disruptive forces in personal computing in nearly 30 years.

But retail and consumer research firm NPD is countering those claims in a new report, which shows that the rate of cannibalization is actually declining with more recent purchasers.

The report shows that only 14 percent of early iPad adopters (those who purchased one within its first six months on the market) abandoned a PC purchase as a result. That number dropped to 12 percent when looking at those who picked up iPads over the most recent holiday season.

"The explosion of computer sales when Windows 7 launched, as well as the huge increase in netbook sales at that time, are much more to blame for weak consumer PC sales growth than the iPad," NPD's VP of Industry Analysis Stephen Baker said in a press release. "Overall it appears that the vast majority of iPad purchases to-date have been incremental to the consumer technology industry."

According to the report, the cannibalization of netbooks in particular by the iPad is down 50 percent in recent iPad buyers when compared to early adopters. Meanwhile, the consumer market for Windows-based notebooks priced below $500 grew by 21 percent in the six-month period ending March 31 of this year, while the over-$500 market took a hit of 25 percent in the same period. 

"The conventional wisdom that says tablet sales are eating into low- priced notebooks is most assuredly incorrect," Baker said.

One more interesting note from the report: Carrier sales of the iPad amounted for just three percent of holiday sales, while Best Buy and Apple store sales made up approximately three quarters. Sales of the basic, Wi-Fi-only iPad increased by 33 percent during this timeframe, signifying that consumers don't see 3G connectivity as a major benefit.

"Consumers just do not see the utility in 3G connectivity," Baker said. "There’s an added expense for the device and for the service, something a majority of iPad owners aren’t willing to pay. Since most iPads rarely venture away from home the value of a 3G connection is likely to diminish, especially as other tablets enter the market and pricing starts to fall. When every penny counts, features that aren’t core to the user becoming increasingly marginalized as manufacturers fight for every sale."

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RE: Solved it
By Pirks on 5/12/2011 11:46:08 AM , Rating: 2
only the PC gamers upgrade frequently
It's a lie, most PC gamers don't upgrade frequently anymore since the game studios went console. No need to upgrade your GPU anymore (which used to be the only bottleneck in getting high enough FPS, unless you ran Atom which PC gamers never used to play games of course)

I have pretty old Radeon 5850 and it runs even the super duper rendering beauty monster Metro 2033 on 1980p monitor with highest graphics settings without breaking a sweat, all the other games like Consolized Crysis (AKS Crysis 2) gimme even higher FPS.

Just forget about that "frequent PC upgrades" myth already, ok? It's DEAD. Crysis was the last game people were buying GPUs for, and it was how many years ago? Four!

P.S. almost noone buys GPUs for Metro 2033 these days since noone knows about it, it's not a heavily marketed megablockbuster like original Crysis, hence it doesn't count.

RE: Solved it
By Gzus666 on 5/12/2011 11:53:36 AM , Rating: 2
Cool story.

RE: Solved it
By Pirks on 5/12/2011 12:21:01 PM , Rating: 1
oops, 1980p == 1080p

RE: Solved it
By Azethoth on 5/13/2011 1:18:55 AM , Rating: 2
I was totally gonna call BS but then you changed it to 1080p.

RE: Solved it
By AssBall on 5/12/2011 12:22:21 PM , Rating: 2
Depends what you mean by "frequently". The 5850 is still a 150$ card, and only about a year and a half and 1 generation old. That is plenty new, to "most" PC gamers. Again, depends what you mean by "frequently"? For me it is ~ every 2-3 years, for my buddy it is every 9-12 months, and we are both avid gamers with constrained video card budgets.

RE: Solved it
By Pirks on 5/12/2011 12:37:46 PM , Rating: 2
3 years is kind of normal (my pre 5850 card laster for 3 years, it was one of the first nVidia 8800 ones), but if your buddy replaces GPUs every 9 months - something is definitely wrong with him, there is no need to replace GPUs every 9 months these days, he could have bought a decent GPU, say one of the early 8800 from nVidia or later he'd get early 5800 series from ATI and stay with those for 3 years easily. he must be crazy or something...

RE: Solved it
By AssBall on 5/12/2011 12:52:44 PM , Rating: 2
Crazy? Yeah enthusiasts of any sort usually are a bit crazy. Some people upgrade their cell phone every year too, which is crazy to me. Some people collect coins... whatever floats your boat, right?

RE: Solved it
By RussianSensation on 5/12/2011 1:25:08 PM , Rating: 2
I have purchased the HD4890 in August of 2009, then upgraded to the GTX470 in June 2010, then upgraded to an HD6950 unlocked into a 6970 in January 2011. After reselling my previous videocards, my net cost to upgrade has been less than $100. So I spent less than $100 to go from a 4890 to a 6970 in performance (which is about 80%+ speed increase). Over the course of 1.5 years, that's not a lot of $$ for such a performance increase.

Early on when I started to build PCs, I used to buy $400+ videocards and hold them for 3-4 years. But then I realized, it's a lot cheaper to resell them quickly and time your upgrades. This way I spend about $100 every 1.5 years or so to have a very fast GPU vs. $500 over 4 years for say a GTX580 which will be worth $50 in 4 years from now.

I agree with you that most games don't require such fast GPUs, but this way it doesn't cost much and once in a while you need the horsepower (Dragon Age 2, Dirt 3, BF3, etc.).

RE: Solved it
By Da W on 5/12/2011 2:00:17 PM , Rating: 4
That's not the point. The point is what kind of game do you play with it?

I personnaly stick to my old 5770 (which is a 4870 with lower power) and AMD X3 and it runs everything i need. Civ 5 (boring), Starcraft II (disapointing), Empire-Napoleon-Shogun total war (which is beatutiful and still runs smooth), Call of Duty (console game), the Sims mediaval for my girlfriend, i'm looking for Portal2 and i think it will run smoothly on my machine. I mean, all the big blockbuster games run ok on what i would call still an upper than average machine, even if i know every enthousiasts is gonna laugh at me. But when you think about mass market and SALES, who needs to upgrade if the most popular and demanding software don't need it?

And the bottleneck on my machine would be the GPU, i think with some overclock my phenom X3 can do just fine for a year or two still. So there again, you talk about upgrading the GPU only, but the market is looking at INTEL and MICROSOFT sales.

Truth is hardware has moved faster than the software in general, and now we don't need faster hardware, we just need more power-efficient hardware to rerun the old software on smaller machines.

RE: Solved it
By StevoLincolnite on 5/12/2011 2:57:06 PM , Rating: 2
and now we don't need faster hardware,

I'm generally an enthusiast, so upgrades occur often.
However, try running a game at 2560 x 1600 or at eyefinity levels of resolution... Its an entirely different ball game as far as hardware requirements needed to run a game, especially with AA and AF.

For you it might enough, 1080P or less isn't exactly a demanding resolution these days, in my opinion.

RE: Solved it
By Hieyeck on 5/16/2011 3:49:13 PM , Rating: 2
1080p stopped being demanding 5 years ago. Sadly, higher res monitors are either pretty expensive or prohibitively large.

RE: Solved it
By RjBass on 5/12/2011 1:59:17 PM , Rating: 2
Game makers are coming back to the PC market since the current generation of consoles are showing their age. I assume they will move back to the console side when the next generation comes out. A good example of how game makers have gone back to PC is Battlefield 3. Here is some more reading on the subject -,opinion-...

RE: Solved it
By hughlle on 5/12/2011 2:09:28 PM , Rating: 2
I'm on a 4850 i've had for years and years, and a silly little 2.4ghz q6600 and 4gb lowly ddr2, not a game out there that i can't play faultlessly. In the past i'd have been spending £500 a pop on new video cards, i havn't seen a single game that would require an upgrade in years, let alone one good enough to justify an upgrade.

RE: Solved it
By Smilin on 5/12/2011 2:13:10 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure if I would blame consoles but I agree.

For the last couple years hardware has been ahead of the software. I've switched from buying a new card every other generation to buying N-1 every other generation. A $200-$250 upgrade buys me what used to be a $600 upgrade.

But it's not black and white either..Gamers might not require the bleeding edge anymore but you won't find them with crusty old machines either.

RE: Solved it
By piroroadkill on 5/13/2011 4:29:34 AM , Rating: 2
I pretty much agree. The part of me that has hardware lust wants to get a new graphics card, but there's no way I can justify spending money on a new one (I have 4890). It still plays everything fine.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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